Rorate Caeli

The liturgy under Benedict
One year of Rorate Cæli

This blog was started in December 2005, on Rorate Sunday (the Fourth Sunday of Advent, after whose Introit, Rorate cæli desuper, the blog was named). Since we follow the liturgical year of the Roman Rite as our own calendar, today, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (which will not be commemorated this year, since it falls on December 24, the Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ), marks our first anniversary.

We would like to thank our many visitors for their kindness to this work, which we try to accomplish purely out of love for Holy Mother Church, with no wish for any material benefit whatsoever. We apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused to any reader.

As we begin this new liturgical year, approaching Christmastide, it seems appropriate to remember what the year has brought, recalling the first text published here in 2006: "Will the Liturgical Mess go on in 2006?". In that text, we made some references to scandalous liturgical practices in a Brazilian Jesuit Youth House.

As we once again peruse their website, from which we have taken these pictures, the answer to that question is clear: the mess did go on; nothing has changed in the Liturgy of the Latin Church under Benedict. "Nothing so far", some would say. Others would point to the relevant admonition by the Congregation for Divine Worship on the correct translation of the words of consecration in the new rite -- which was more doctrinal necessity than actual liturgical action. In the liturgical lives of Roman Catholics who attend the New Mass, nothing has improved -- and "Contra factum non datur argumentum". Could this stark reality be clearer than these painful images?

For Traditionalists ("the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists", Notre Charge Apostolique), the year was full of unfulfilled hope. Especially for those who go to Mass at churches and chapels run by Ecclesia Dei or diocesan priests, it was a bitter year: so many of these places of worship have been shut down and persecuted, especially in the two largest "Traditionalist Nations", France and the United States.

From Lyon and Bordeaux (where even the nascent Institute of the Good Shepherd is still despised by diocesan authorities) to Cleveland and Los Angeles, from Germany to the Philippines, from the smallest hamlet to the Eternal City, Traditionalists have been ignored, antagonized, harassed, persecuted, and expelled in the Year of the Lord of 2006. In the Eldest Daughter of the Church, so many bishops of dioceses in collapse tried (and are still trying) to deter any improvement of the "Traditionalist Question"...

The foundation of a small new society of priests (hated by so many prelates) could not offset this rosary of misfortunes. How could any advance in negotiations with groups not in regular communion with the Holy See be expected when there is so much ill-treatment?

The burden on the Supreme Pontiff in our age is unbelievable; there is, in fact, so much that he cannot do; there is so much he cannot say plainly, lest he jeopardizes the lives of Christians all over the world.

Yet, there is so much he can do, especially in the field of the liturgy. And there is so little time to do it. Precious little time.

Merry Christmas. Iacta alea est.


  1. A blessed Christmas to all!
    Thank you New Catholic for your work to bring forward this site. We are sincerely grateful for the information that we can only receive at this web location.
    Let us hope and pray that the Holy Father acts soon to restore our traditional Latin liturgy to its proper and rightful place. I agree, he must act soon. As the clock goes tic, tic, tic...

  2. Anonymous2:17 AM

    I've enjoyed reading your material all year. I pray that you continue such business in 2007!

    May you all have a safe and blessed Christmas

  3. Thanks indeed are due for such a valuable work as this has proved to be. A blessed Christmastide to you, and prayers and good wishes for the coming Year of Grace.

  4. Truly, 2006 was Rorate Caeli's year.

    One of the most important things in this year for me was the discovery of this blog.

    Probably you cannot realize how important is your work in the reconstruction of the catholic liturgical traditions, specially in far lands, like mine.

    Rorate Caeli was a very huge influence when I decided to create my blog and to establish contact with other latin american "trads". Thanks to that, I am now in constant communication with the Good Sheperd Institute and maybe in the next year my home country would have a permanent foundation.


    ¡Que Dios y la Virgen los guarden!

    ¡Y conservad siempre la Esperanza!

  5. Anonymous4:24 AM

    Are those Jesuits Catholic or protestant? It looks like a bad day at a 'performing arts' college.

  6. Anonymous4:31 AM

    No, it looks like a good day at a performing arts college; the boy and girl in this picture have their private areas covered with a modicum of modesty. At a performing arts college (on the East Coast at least), they would have been fully naked, and would have not been seated back to back.

  7. Folks made a big deal about the Vatican ending the "indult" that permitted Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist to purify the sacred vessels. But in 1997, the Vatican "banned" Extraordinary Ministers (see INSTRUCTION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS REGARDING THE COLLABORATION OF THE NON-ORDAINED FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF PRIEST). So that recent Vatican act was actually a step backwards.

    That leaves proper translation of "pro multis" as the liturgical "big news" of 2006. But how is correcting a 3 decade old translational abuse a move forward? It is not. Its simply making up lost ground, a generation later. Should we dance with glee simply because the Vatican put a stop to a decades old translation abuse?

    Unfortunately, your essay here is a honest reality check. Hopefully the new year will bring the Motu Proprio freeing the Tridentine Mass, and bring some tangible corrections of the abuses and inherent deficiencies of the Novus Ordo. The Pope can't expect to string us along on crumbs indefinitely.

  8. I am so grateful and thankful to you, New Catholic, for taking the time to produce such a beautiful and informative web log. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you abundantly both in this Christmas season and in the coming New Year.

  9. Many thanks, New Catholic. This site has already become "an institution" among those who hunger and thirst for liturgical justice.

    Glory in the highest to God, and on earth peace to men of good will.

  10. Anonymous12:27 PM

    New Catholic,
    Congrats on your anniversary! This has been one of a small handful of places to find news on the liturgy and has been a part of my daily reading, I thank you!
    As a bit of encouragement and perspective, the kind of topics and discussions that are occurring at all levels of the Church right now would have been absolutely unthinkable 5 to 10 years ago, there has been progress. If I said to a fellow seminarian back in the 1990's that the rite of 1962 might be restored I would have been laughed out of the room, If I mentioned that to a professor I would have been kicked out of the seminary, not so much now. The climate has indeed changed. If one gages the state of things by finding improper liturgical practices you will always find examples no matter what the state of the Church, sadly the Church will always have jerks who just don't get it.

    Merry Christmas

  11. What is an "improper liturgical practice" in the new rite, anonymous? The fact is: there is no standard, there has never been one standard, one model, in the new rite, and the myriad of alternatives offered by the liturgical guidelines allow for most of the "abuses" and "improprieties".

    We do not deny mood changes, we are not even pessimistic, we do what we have always done: we observe the times, we grasp facts -- and facts and decisions have been missing.

    We ended the text with the Julian cry on the Rubicon: in fact, however, and Caesar knew that, the die was cast irrespective of his will. A decision not to cross it would also have had serious consequences for his life and projects (and for the History of the West). A Roman lesson for all those in positions of power and leadership: take the decisions or they will be taken for you.


    Thanks to all for the very kind words, the best "reward" for what we do. A Merry and Holy Christmas to you and your families.

  12. A blessed and holy Christmas, New Catholic. Thanks for the very beneficial service you provide here.

    But I wish I didn't see those absolutely horrifying photos of the liturgical mudwrestlers and self-intincters. There is just so much wrong that must be made right.

  13. Anonymous5:31 PM

    Dear New Catholic,
    Would it be unliturgical to smoothly unplug the organ while the organist is playing sappy tunes during the canon?
    Just kidding. Merry Christmas and thank you for your wonderfully informative and beautiful blog. Keep up the good work--The Latin rite starting to come home to tradition!

  14. An Holy and Merry Christmas! Votos de um Santo e Feliz Natal!

  15. New Catholic, and to all: MERRY CHRISTMAS, FELIZ NAVIDAD and thank you very much for everything you have given. By the way how do you say Merry Christmas in Latin? AMDG.

  16. Anonymous2:10 AM

    GREAT BLOG! Thanks a lot! I just discover many things about my faith. To all, Merry Christmas! xD

  17. Anonymous2:38 AM

    Merry Christmas to everyone. Thank you New Catholic for all the work you do on this site. I was reading my 1962 Missal yesterday and noticed the name of this blog in the Introit!! I pray that in the coming year the Holy Father will act to restore TLM on to more Altars in the US and around the world. I attend the Indult Mass at Immaculate Conception in Cleveland. The TLM is growing and there are more Mass times and people coming to the parish for this mass. I can only attend occasionally, but when I can it is a real blessing from God. I take my 1962 Missal with me to the TLM and the Novus Ordo. Thank you for all that you do and continue this wonderful site in 2007. P.S. I'm a senior at a Catholic high school and doing a research paper on the TLM the history before and after Vatican II and the struggle to get permission to offer this Mass. Any incite that you have would be greatly appreciated. My email is

  18. Καλά Χριστουγεννα

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

    Whether or not this Motu Proprio comes out it does not matter in a certain sense, for it still remains for us to continue growing in virtue and in the love of God.

    However, I still pray that His Holiness will correspond to all the graces the good Lord is pouring forth to him.

  19. New Catholic, your discerning and attentive work, as well as your patience with us your cantankerous crew is a blessing to us all as we steam and vent in pursuit of liturgical justice. Thanks also to everyone who cares enough to make themselves heard on the central issue of out times, the restoration of the fountainhead of our civilization's identity, the holy Roman Rite of Mass. Remember, a large enough collection of pebbles makes a mountain...or perhaps a quarry from which to build a Basilica. May the New Year bring bountiful returns on all of our labours. Merry Christmas to all.


  20. God bless you, and thank you for your great blog! Oh, and blessings for the Nativity of our Lord.
    I take a slightly more optimistic line on 2006, though. What has changed, at least around here, is the atmosphere. The question of more traditional worship, the use of Latin and Gregorian chant is now 'out there' and doing its work. Consider the Tablet, the ur-liberal Catholic weekly in the UK. It has swung in an identifiably Catholic direction recently. Sure, a long way to go still, and there are still some horrors, but things are quite a bit better.
    Among the clergy locally, for the first time in a generation, the modernists are on the back foot and feeling under pressure. Among the moderates, there seems to be a certain relief and an acknowlegement that 'something needs to be done'. If and when (I'm enough of a realist to say 'if') some useful legistlation is produced, then I think they will grumble a bit out loud, but actually do what is required without too much fuss.
    Ecumenism has now been quietly shelved. The Church of England has shot itself in the foot so often that I don't know any Catholic priest who does more than go through the motions ecumenically. I get on well with my local counterparts, but there is no question of talk about union. But the fact that the Catholic Church is by far the largest congregation in Shoreham now has its silent effect. Enough already! To sum up, I'm (cautiously) quite a bit happier at the way things are going now than I was a year ago.

  21. Congratulations New Catholic, and many, many thanks for this beautiful and indispensible site.

    I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

  22. Anonymous3:13 PM

    First, let me say Thank You to New Catholic for this wonderful blog. I can't seem to go for more than a few hours without checking it out to see what may have been posted.

    Yes, this past year has been a bit of a disappointment, liturgically speaking. But there hae been some glimmers of improvement - especially in the last six months or so. I have noticed more and more Latin creeping into mass, then, in the past month, no more Eucharistic Ministers milling about the altar unnecesarily, and then just this past Sunday, the Servers at the Church I have been attending lost their white robes with the rope around the middle in favor of the traditional Cassock and Surplice!!

    I am no insider, just a poor sinner in the pews, but something's afoot, you can feel it. And yes, these are small changes, but I cannot help but think they are just samples of larger changes coming. I can't believe that they are all acccident or coincidence.

  23. SurveyorTom said...

    "I can't believe that they are all acccident or coincidence."

    They're not, WurveyorTom...


    Up the raging Mississip,
    And at the St. Paul’s source,
    South, below the ragged cliffs,
    There is a fiercer force.

    A force which surges
    Human blood between her banks each June,
    Then tears and rents herself for all,
    She is…Winona’s womb!

    And like the raging Mississip,
    Her channels open wide,
    And birth the men who are the priests,
    The source of Mother’s pride.

    And from that raging Mississip,
    And at that St. Paul’s source,
    South, below the ragged cliffs,
    Push priests from land of Norse.

    Who ride the river, far and wide,
    For souls from shore to shore,
    And bring them home to Mother’s side,
    To leave Her never more.

    And up where current’s all the rage,
    And sin is sorrow’s source,
    Still south, below the ragged cliffs,

  24. Anonymous4:11 AM

    Here is my take on the grand strategy

    John Paul 2 - nail doctrine/DONE

    Benedict 16 - nail liturgy/IN PROGRESS

    Pius 13 - nail discipline/FOR ACTION

    John 24 - normal service resumed

  25. Thank you for the link. This blog is what I aspired to before it was even created. God bless. A blessed Christmas season to you.

  26. Great blog!!

    I am in agreement with Pastor in Valle who said that while there has not been much change in legislation, there has been a GREAT change in atmosphere.

    Yes, the Modernists are 'on their back feet,' and retreating--perhaps because they are aging and are largely without children.

    Contra Dr. Kopp, however, I do not recall the Vatican proscribing EEM's. The instruction was meant to minimize their use (ignored, yes.)

  27. A very holy and blessed new year to everyone.

    Rorate Caeli must continue to expose the hypocrisy in the NO camp. These people have managed to hold sway for far too long & blame everything on traditionalists for alleged "disobedience" to the mythical "spirit of the councils" which means no more than a liberalist, progressivist relativisation and pluralisation of christianity, protestant-style. The disobedience is their own since they flagrantly disregard papal encyclicals, apostolic letters and other counsels on a systematic basis. Anyone who doubts this should read about the progressivist reaction to "Humanae Vitae" led by Cardinal Suenens and many french bishops. It was so shocking that Padre Pio felt compelled to write a supportive letter to Pope Paul (RIP) VI. And, if you are still in doubt, just ask whatever happened to the Apostolic Letter of the previous pope advocating "generous" episcopal application of freedom for The Latin Mass (1962 version) or so-called "indult". It is almost a dead letter. Now, watch the subterfuges to derail any possible concession by Pope Benedict XVI towards The Latin Mass of All Time.

    RORATE CAELI desuper, et nubes pluant justum!

  28. Anonymous5:57 PM

    This site has become a beautiful apostolate, no doubt greatly blessed by Our Lord and His Holy Mother. I treasure it.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  29. Anonymous9:53 PM

    Deus benedicat vobis et aliis amicis in traditione:
    Your vigilant commentary on the pitiful state of the liturgy, with your egregious examples of nefarious actions by satanical influences in the Church since Vatican II, are nothing less than words of wisdom; for we are living in an era which Daniel the prophet foretold in the Old Testament regarding the ultimate degeneration of worship with the "abomination and desolation" in the House of God.
    Benedict XVI will take action and bring about the restoration of the Mass of Tradition, the "Missa Latina Tridentina!" This great "motu proprio" by Benedict XVI is long overdue and will catapult the "Novus Ordo" and its liberalization of the liturgy into a state of utter apoplexy. Let us pray for him and the continued direction of the Holy Spirit upon His Papacy!!!
    For more on this and the problems of the new mass, check out your compatriot website: The Orthodox Roman Catholic. com.
    "Can anyone truly be a Catholic if he is not orthodox? Can anyone truly be orthodox, if he is not a Roman Catholic?

    Yours in Christ,
    J.Hughes Dunphy

    P.S. Note we already link Rorate Caeli on The Orthodox Roman Catholic!!!

  30. Happy Anniversary! May God continue to bless all of you throughout the New Year! Thank You for all the information we receive from this site and keeping us informed on the latest developments in our traditional Faith! Merry Christmas


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